Recently Water Online talked about a survey showing global water shortages that will be particularly felt in countries like India and China. And as the water crisis becomes a more stark reality, violence over one of our most precious resources is certain to ensue. Indeed, it already has been happening in India where over 50 incidences of violence over water have been reported in just May alone.
Rainfall patterns altered by climate change and worsened by inequity in the water distribution system has led to a water crisis in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The local incident mentioned in the news report above was one among many where a mob of about six people killed a family for illegally drawing water from the municipal supply even as onlookers rushed back and forth to collect water before the pipe ran dry.
The poorest areas are being affected the most because of inequitable water distribution. If this isn’t a wake-up call of what water scarcity can do to a society, we’re not sure what would be more effective, short of actual war. As outlined by the documentary Blue Gold: World Water Wars, issues like privatization, unfair distribution, pollution and ecological changes causing increased shortages are some of the major factors working against everyone having the water they need.
India’s troubles are, frighteningly enough, an illustration of what will escalate if all nations move slowly on changing the way we handle this vital resource.